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Lexus Launches New CT200h At Geneva Auto Show  
User currently offlinestasisLAX From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3280 posts, RR: 6
Posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2509 times:

The hybrid is expected to go on sale in Europe, but Lexus has yet to spell out a timetable for launch of what it calls "a new gateway model" to Toyota's upscale brand in North America. Looks alot like a Toyota Matrix or Auris, IMHO - not too "premium.

2011 Lexus CT 200h 5 door - official photo


A few details were released about the CT 200h, with Lexus only saying in its press release that it will be equipped with second-generation "Lexus Hybrid Drive technology", meaning it will have the same drivetrain (134 horsepower combined) as the current Prius.

Lexus's first "premium" compact model.
Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain with 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine and powerful but compact electric motor.
Full hybrid system with selectable EV mode for emissions-free electric running and further selectable ECO, NORMAL and SPORT driving modes.
ECVT electronic continuously variable transmission.
Expected to deliver class-leading CO2 emissions.
Obviously, significantly lower NOx emissions than equivalent diesel engines and almost no particulates.
The exterior is styled for maximum aerodynamic efficiency.

Here's my question - BWM already has the 1-series, Mercedes is rumored to be looking at launching the A and/or B class here in the US, and Cadillac is looking to market a smallish (between a BWM 1-series and 3-series) RWD sport sedan on its "Alpha" platform - how much of a market is out there for premium hybrids/compacts? Why not just buy a Prius or a Volt?

2011 Lexus CT 200h hybrid interior


Source: http://www.lexus.com/about/news/articles/2010/2/20100216_1.html


"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineaerorobNZ From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 7168 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2484 times:

Another wasted opportunity to come up with a long term solution to the problem. Hybrids are an expensive dead end stopgap that shouldn't be pursued because they solve nothing, and leave people feeling smug with themselves that they're helping the environment when they aren't.

User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7138 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2465 times:

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
Here's my question - BWM already has the 1-series, Mercedes is rumored to be looking at launching the A and/or B class here in the US, and Cadillac is looking to market a smallish (between a BWM 1-series and 3-series) RWD sport sedan on its "Alpha" platform - how much of a market is out there for premium hybrids/compacts? Why not just buy a Prius or a Volt?

The small premium sector in Europe is a huge money maker for the brands that play in it, as people get older they downsize from bigger models and younger people would rather have a premium BMW, Audi, Mercedes than a Ford, Opel............small premium are also the first step into the brand. I can't see why the US wouldn't/couldn't follow the same market model.


User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 2967 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2422 times:

So, what it is a "premium" Prius, and probably costs double. But I'm sure it well sell well if brought to the US, at least in LA. The 'in' thing for mums is o have the 400h or the Prius, so here is something in between.....


The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2394 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 2):
small premium are also the first step into the brand. I can't see why the US wouldn't/couldn't follow the same market model.

Thats because small premium sells bad in the USA. Why the A3 sells bad, why the 1 series hasn't been selling to expectations, why the Volvo C30 sells bad, real bad. Theres little bang for your buck in these cars.

Theres a very limited market for these cars, Concentrated in Miami maybe, LA, San Francisco and maybe NYC or Boston. The rest of the country sees pretty bad sales numbers as none of the above models I mentioned have been selling close to their targets.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2359 times:

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
The hybrid is expected to go on sale in Europe,

I think that this might do alright there against things like the A3.

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
"a new gateway model" to Toyota's upscale brand in North America.

Isn't that what the ES is? How low can you go and still be upscale? I think that the A3 is about the limit in the US.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2358 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 5):
I think that the A3 is about the limit in the US.

If the A3 was the limit, it would sell well. Which it doesnt and never has in its 4 year history here. It sort of reminds me of the old BMW 318 that was sold in the US in the 90s.

The whole problem probably isnt even the size. Its the price. No one wants to pay for a 135i when they can buy a comparable 3 series for $1000-$2000 more. Ditto with the C30 and A3.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2348 times:

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 6):

If the A3 was the limit, it would sell well.

It sells well enough for them to keep it in the lineup.

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 6):
No one wants to pay for a 135i when they can buy a comparable 3 series for $1000-$2000 more.

The 1 series is a slightly different animal, since it is in some respects a poor man's M3. For the average driver, it is usually better to go with a 3 series, but I think that the 135i can build itself a niche for people who want performance but can't sacrifice too much practicality.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinestasisLAX From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3280 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2314 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 5):
How low can you go and still be upscale? I think that the A3 is about the limit in the US.

Exactly my thought! When Cadillac introduced the Cimmarron (and Lincoln introduced the Versailles) back in the late 70's and early 80's, they flopped in the marketplace. Too small, definitely not premium enough, and obviously derived from their "poor cousins". Maybe this worst example of cheap "premium" cars, but how often can a premium buyer buy a Mini Cooper kind of vehicle?



"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
User currently offlinemNeo From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2004, 776 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2304 times:

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 6):
If the A3 was the limit, it would sell well.

The new A3 TDI is actually selling quite well here in NY. I really never knew why the A3 didnt sell that well. My mom has one and it really is a superb car. I know people will say that u can get an A4 for $2000 more, but once you add some options to the A4 and factor in the that you can generally negotiate a better price for the A3, it comes down to be a good $5000 difference. And for people who really dont need a car as big as the A4(and the new A4 is closing in to old A6 length), the A3 provides the perfect mix of performance and luxury in a sub 30K price range.



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User currently offlineMoltenRock From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2291 times:

I think it looks great!

Small premium may not have sold well in the past because they've been so bland, and just poor person's versions. The Mini was one to break this.

Also, as gas prices have risen they've caught on, and hopefully gas taxes get raised a good $1.00 to $2.00 or more in the USA and it would be a huge hit. Once the US govt stops subsidizing gas guzzlers you'll see a wholesale switch over.


User currently offlineCadet57 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 9085 posts, RR: 31
Reply 11, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2258 times:

Quoting mNeo (Reply 9):

Agreed. Honestly, i've been drooling over an A3 TDI since they came out. (black please). I *would* like it if the A4 were diesel instead, but the A3 is a great zippy little car. I hope to get into one in a few years.

Quoting MoltenRock (Reply 10):
and just poor person's versions.

A $33,000 car (price +/- of an A3) is a poor persons car? Tell ya what what do you think of my $13,000 car?   



Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
User currently offlineJCS17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 39
Reply 12, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2252 times:

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 4):

Thats because small premium sells bad in the USA. Why the A3 sells bad, why the 1 series hasn't been selling to expectations, why the Volvo C30 sells bad, real bad. Theres little bang for your buck in these cars.

Exactly right. If you're gonna pay a premium price for a BMW, you can obviously afford a tank of gas, not to mention having a trunk that can accommodate cargo larger than a golf bag.

It looks like a stretched Subaru Impreza hatch. This should be about as popular as genital herpes. A bad concept and a bad design.



America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
User currently offlineMoltenRock From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2244 times:

Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 11):
A $33,000 car (price +/- of an A3) is a poor persons car? Tell ya what what do you think of my $13,000 car?   

I love the A3, my buddy has one. Not as much as the Audi I have, but would certainly buy one if that size of car was what I was looking for at the time. My point was the smallest cars by automakers selling in the US was just making them cheap versions of their larger cars instead of them standing on their own.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15719 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2236 times:

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 8):
how often can a premium buyer buy a Mini Cooper kind of vehicle?

I think that the Mini falls just below the threshold of the "premium" small car, starting at under $20,000. I think that BMW and Audi definitely have the right idea with this by using a lower brand (Mini and VW respectively) to provide premium engineering without the higher price and upscale interior.

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 8):
When Cadillac introduced the Cimmarron (and Lincoln introduced the Versailles)

That was a disaster, just like the Catera. Cadillac and Lincoln need to go up the ladder, not down.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7138 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2215 times:

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 4):
Thats because small premium sells bad in the USA. Why the A3 sells bad, why the 1 series hasn't been selling to expectations, why the Volvo C30 sells bad, real bad. Theres little bang for your buck in these cars.

Hey if they were bombing in the market then they would have pulled them, since Audi and BMW haven't pulled them the sales must not be all that bad. BMW will be increasing the range from just the coupe and rag top when the next model arrives, Audi will be sending over a sedan in the next model cycle, I have read Audi will also launch the A2 to compete with the Mini in the US.

Its got nothing to do with bang for your buck either, it's the brand and the image that's important. If bang for your buck was the most important criteria for purchasing a car then all the premium brands would have failed long ago.


User currently offlineEddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7561 posts, RR: 43
Reply 16, posted (4 years 5 months 16 hours ago) and read 2099 times:

The new CT200h looks quite nice, although I cannot help but notice a (cleary unintentional) hint of/similarity with the last-generation Opel Astra on the profile towards the rear based on the three-quarter right side profile picture that Daniel kindly uploaded on the thread-starting post.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 15):
I have read Audi will also launch the A2 to compete with the Mini in the US.

I thought it was going to be called A1 considering that the A2 was a small, all-aluminum tallish hatch sold a decade ago that did not have much success. I may be wrong though. But yeah, the introduction of a Mini competitor by the good folks at Audi is imminent.

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
BWM already has the 1-series, Mercedes is rumored to be looking at launching the A and/or B class here in the US,

I believe Mercedes wants to transform the next-generation B-Class into a proper hatchback that can go head to head with the BMW Series 1 and the Audi A3 model ranges. That should be interesting.



Next flights: MEX-GRU (AM 77E), GRU-GIG (JJ A320), SDU-CGH (G3 73H), GRU-MEX (JJ A332).
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7138 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (4 years 5 months 9 hours ago) and read 2084 times:

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 16):
I thought it was going to be called A1 considering that the A2 was a small, all-aluminum tallish hatch sold a decade ago that did not have much success.

Yes you are correct it is the A1, I was reading an article in Car magazine that Audi are going to release an updated A2 in the near future. BTW if you want an A2 they are almost impossible to find, the car has finally come into it own, Audi released it probably 5 years too early.


User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2033 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
That was a disaster, just like the Catera. Cadillac and Lincoln need to go up the ladder, not down
Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 15):
Hey if they were bombing in the market then they would have pulled them, since Audi and BMW haven't pulled them the sales must not be all that bad. BMW will be increasing the range from just the coupe and rag top when the next model arrives, Audi will be sending over a sedan in the next model cycle, I have read Audi will also launch the A2 to compete with the Mini in the US.

Just because it bombs the market doesnt mean it gets pulled.

Want an example? Mercedes R Class. They sold less in 5 years than they thought they would sell in 1. + They stopped production of the A3 for the US because of bad sales.

You can launch all you want. Apart from the Mini which was iconic and already well known I cant remember any small premium car (apart from sports coupes like a Miata) in the US that launched with great sales success. Last time BMW tried to nickel and dime consumers they gave us the 318, we all know how that went.

Wonder why that Catera was a disaster in the US, oh yea, it was European and they tried to up-price US consumers and sell them a car for $5-6k more than it was worth...certainly not $32k MSRP, which is exactly what the A3 and 1 series are. Not bad cars, but cars that are terribly overpriced next to the A4 and 3 series.

No one is buying these cars with an EBT card in their wallet, so theres little to no reason why anyone would buy a car like the A3 when a A4 can be had for next to nothing price difference.

What we really need is Skoda. The same engines, the same equipment (almost) for $10-15k less. These cars would sell like hot cakes with such a price differentiation and people wouldnt feel ripped off.


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7138 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2019 times:

I call BS on the A3 being a failure in the US market, check out Audi USA's webpage, for a car with only 2 versons it's not doing badly when compared to the rest of the range.

http://www.audiusanews.com/newsrelease.do?id=1695

When the 2.0 TDi is released this year the numbers should increase.

Skodas are ok, same engines but equipment isn't to the same standards as Audi, think Seat and you'll be in the right ball park. I looked at the Superb Elegance staionwagon 2.0 TDI 170hp DSG, fully loaded it was almost as expensive as an Audi A6 Estate, considerably more expensive than a similary spec'd Passat and 25,000 NOK more than the V70 which I bought. The Superb was nice car, drove well, comfortable, I would have been happy with it, but for the same money I would have gone with the A6, my wife who the car was for liked the V70 so that's what she got.


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